In recent years, scholars have begun declaring obsolete the old post-World War II opposition in U.S. poetry between avant-garde and mainstream poetics. This article responds that the celebrated new “hybrid style” in fact represents a new normative consensus against which future avant-gardes will define themselves. After examining a typical “hybrid” poem, the essay proceeds to discuss Craig Dworkin's Parse (2008), a sample of twenty-first century “conceptual poetics.” Dworkin suggests that the U.S. avant-garde, in its next phase, will aggressively target educational methods and institutions as part of a larger radical challenge to the contemporary routinization of intellectual labor.
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Brian Reed; Grammar Trouble. boundary 2 1 August 2009; 36 (3): 133–158. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-2009-026
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